'Puppetry' Lectures This Week In Connecticut Call For Reform

Two new surveys announced June 16 provided shocking evidence of Americans' ever-diminishing quality of life and the difficulty of reform.

'Presidential Puppetry' Author Speaks on NSA in Litchfield, CTIn one survey, the Commonwealth Foundation showed that the United States provides the developed world’s worst and most expensive health care. Separately, a Gallup poll measured public approval for the U.S. congress at just 16 percent, the lowest level ever recorded. Yet the vast majority of representatives and senators can expect re-election, thanks to gerrymandered districts.

Citing the findings also of my book, Presidential Puppetry, I'll address these issues the rest of this week in lectures and a radio interview in Connecticut, where I began my reporting career in 1970.

The kind of relatively strong civic culture and informed public that I witnessed in New England early in my career is disintegrating, like elsewhere, in the face of national trends -- but remains the best hope for political reform.

That is the gist of my evening talks at the Hartford Club June 18 in the state's capital of Hartford, and on June 19 at the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield, a rural, historic town near the New York border. I'm scheduled also for a radio interview at WWUH, the University of Hartford's station.

Andy Thibault

Oliver WolcottMy lecture at the Hartford Club, which is invitation-only, will focus on “Protecting Connecticut’s Civic Culture from the National Surveillance State.” The site will be several blocks from the state's main federal building, where I covered federal issues full-time from 1976 to 1981 working for the Hartford Courant, the state's largest newspaper. 

The discussion in Litchfield, a public event, will explore the varied scandals exposed in Presidential Puppetry, one of the first books on the Obama administration's second term.

The book encompasses a century of history to show that breakdowns in health care, congress, foreign affairs and domestic policy cannot be redressed without much more attention on the corruption and cover-up prevalent among the nation's "puppet-masters" and their operatives in government.

Oliver Wolcott, namesake for the library, can be an inspiration for a revival. Shown at left, he was the son of a colonial British governor. Wolcott, who lived from 1726 to 1797, nonetheless helped set the tone for independent Connecticut-style civic action when he signed the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation on behalf of the state, and became the state's first governor in the new nation.

 

•    Health care. The Commonwealth Fund, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, June 16, 2014. The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries.

•    Congressional approval. Gallup: Key Midterm Election Indicators at or Near Historical Lows, Approval of Congress at 16%; national satisfaction at 23%, June 16, 2014. 

 

During the Revolutionary Era, the Connecticut Courant -- whose successor, the Hartford Courant became my first employer, for 14 years of reporting -- became the nation's largest newspaper, with a circulation peaking at 13,000 with its pro-Revolution message.

During my Connecticut book tour this week, I can provide your listeners missing information making such findings understandable -- and showing a path to true reform.

I am a Connecticut-trained, DC-based investigative reporter with  extensive experience as a guest political and investigative expert on radio. Here are the survey details:

I’ll be in Connecticut this week to discuss my book “Presidential Puppetry,” the first about the Obama administration’s second term.  The non-partisan expose is filled with deeply disturbing revelations about leaders of both parties and failures of the press. It is receiving rave reviews from readers (ow.ly/y4ZUK) and experts (www.presidentialpuppetry.com).

Revelations include the inside story behind the health care sellout, the stalemate in Congress, Benghazi (U.S. arms smuggling to Syria), the Iraq and Ukraine meltdowns, the Petraeus resignation (disloyalty to President Obama, not the sex scandal) and the NSA surveillance on all Americans. It reveals also that Amazon.com, the wealth source for the new owner of the Washington Post, received a $600 million contract from the CIA last fall. This shows an inherent conflict of interest in Washington Post coverage despite whatever good intentions might exist, and is part of a century-long pattern that I provide showing how such entanglements are growing.

Most important is the widespread corruption and deception by leaders of both parties, portrayed in extensive sections on the Obama, Romney, Bush and Clinton families. Meanwhile, Washington officials dither and fight each other for narrow partisan advantage.  That is the root of the health care and congressional problems.

 The public clearly knows that something is wrong – but doesn’t have the specifics. I can help, as indicated by my radio bio above and the 50-second book video preview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KV8Mt2nV_A.

I am scheduled for evening talks at the Hartford Club June 18 and June 19 at Litchfield’s library (illustrated by the flyer above). “Protecting Connecticut’s Civic Culture from the National Surveillance State” is my topic in Hartford.  My background includes 14 years as a Hartford Courant reporter, a degree from Yale Law School, a monthly legal column for Connecticut Magazine, the 1987 best-seller “Spiked,” and more than two decades of legal practice and investigative reporting in Washington, DC, where I ran a trade association for a dozen years as president/CEO before returning to journalism to write an insider’s account of our growing loss of freedoms and quality of life.
 
Syndicated columnist Andy Thibault will introduce me in the Connecticut appearances next week.  His review syndicated to the New Haven Register and elsewhere is here: “Road map to master manipulators,” http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20131231/cool-justice-kreigs-presidential-puppetry-gives-road-map-to-master-manipulators.

My contact information is below, and I would be delighted to participate in an interview at your studio during my trip this week, or via phone. I expect to return for similar lectures in Eastern Connecticut soon, and so an interview could be then as well. Thank you in advance for your attention.

I take to the road this week with the "bottom-up" reform message in my book Presidential Puppetry with lecture and broadcast discussions in Connecticut, where I began my reporting career in 1970.

 Reform of the disastrous national political system must begin with clear-eyed, non-partisan exposure of the system's corruption and cover-up. Then we must foster reform via the kinds of community, professional and other civic groups that remain relatively strong in Connecticut because of its emphasis on local government via 169 towns.

But time is limited, as I describe in my opening talk, an invitation-only event June 18 at the Hartford Club, entitled, "Protecting Connecticut’s Civic Culture from the National Surveillance State." In a discussion near the state's capital and the headquarters of the state's largest newspaper, I'll open discussion with my take on the real story behind NSA spying without a warrant on Americans -- and how time is running out to prevent permanent destruction of the kinds of privacy protections the nation's founders placed in the Constitution in reaction to British abuses.

The main public event on the trip is my June 19 lecture at the Oliver Wolcott Library, the public library in the historic rural town of Litchfield located near the New York border. the library is named for the state's first governor.


Protecting Connecticut’s Civic Culture from the National Surveillance State

Introduction:
Thanks to Thibault and hosts (Ann Marie White at Library, Rotary, Hartford Club?), and to all of you. In a few moments, I’m going to describe why I appreciate this so much. But I think it would be more meaningful for you if I first outlined my theme.

Main Points:

Today, I’d like to talk with you about what’s going on in Washington and how it affects you. We have big topics, and short time. By the end, I’m going to provide you with new information that that will enable you better to protect your freedoms, families and community.

•    All electronic communications are monitored, stored and retrievable.
•    Reform legislation now pending is unlikely to go anywhere.
•    The reason? The vast dollars and hidden power of the intelligence complex. All recent U.S. presidents, for example, have had hidden relationships with the CIA or FBI before they entered politics. Amazon.com, who founder owns the Washington Post, has a $600 million contract with the CIA to handles its advanced computing needs.
•    This surveillance process not only undermines historic constitutional rights, but has great ability to cause harm.
•    Specific examples of great harm abound if you know where to look. Three Felonies a Day. Prosecution abuses.
•    Members of a group like this are well-positioned to do something about the problem.


My first and main point relates to the surveillance undertake by the National Security Agency and all major cellphone, cable and other carriers, including social media.

Take out cellphones? Stunt.

President Truman created the NSA by a secret order in 1952. In recent years, this agency far larger than the CIA has collected and stored for potential retrieval as much information as possible about all of us every day. My information is that virtually all of your electronic communications – phone calls, emails, Facebook, and so forth -- are being captured. The purpose is supposed to protect against terrorists. But this vast program shows few practical results.  After 9/11 the agency began violating its charter forbidding it from mass collection of data regarding U.S. citizens.

Officials have since been playing word games on the few times when they are questioned in public about how far they are going beyond this charter or even the language of the 2001 Patriot Act. For example, White House National Security Director James Clapper lied to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden at a hearing 14 months ago about the extent of surveillance.  There is a federal oversight court. But the court is a rubber stamp that operates in secret with no contested proceedings, and provides no real protection. For decades, it has approved almost every request in secret. The pending congressional reform legislation will do little to protect our privacy or provide accountability. We know this because of the revelations of insiders like Edward Snowden, as amplified by high-ranking former NSA executives and other researchers. In sum, the situation represents a massive and unnecessary loss of privacy and other civil rights that Americans have enjoyed throughout history. That freedom is rooted in the Constitutional Fourth Amendment protecting against unreasonable searches, and our freedom to associate.

Second, we must inquire whether the lack of enforcement of our constitutional rights is because powerful special interests guide our government leaders on a national level in both parties. I call them “puppet masters.” Others have different names, such as “Wall Street” or what President Eisenhower termed “the Military Industrial complex.” During World War II, Britain’s prime minister Winston Church called privately called it “The High Cabal.” By whatever name, the central finding of my research in, “Presidential Puppetry,” is that unelected dynastic powers at the billionaire level operate as a hidden government over the heads of our elected and appointed officials in Washington. They control the leadership of both parties so that the High Cabal is always in control, and also such supposed watchdog institutions as the national media. As an example, Henry Kissinger is the leading Republican foreign policy representative of the Rockefeller interests, a position held by his Democratic counterpart, former Carter and Obama national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Third and finally, all recent U.S. presidents after Jimmy Carter, a Navy Academy graduate and commissioned officer whom Brzezinski helped empower on behalf of the Rockefeller-led Trilateral Commission, have had secret relationships with the CIA or FBI long before they entered politics. This helped all of these future presidents begin their political careers, including President Obama. This does not mean their political success is guaranteed, only that they have a leg up on any competition not so favored. To be clear on an additional point, I do not mean to suggest that such agencies as the CIA are the ultimate power. Under 1950s CIA Director Allen Dulles and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles a tradition began of leadership by Wall Street lawyers like the Dulles brothers intimately connected with the nation’s true power elite at the billionaire level. Further, my research indicates that the Warren Commission was wrong to ascribe the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy to a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. Overwhelming evidence exists that more than three shots were fired. And so long as the most prestigious of the national media essentially continue a cover-up of this crime every president thereafter will continue to be intimidated. Even President Obama, whose first job out of college was with a CIA front company, Business International Corp., is today intimidated by the successors to the powerful forces that killed Kennedy. Conspirators stripped Kennedy of his Secret Service protection in Dallas in a half dozen obvious ways. Then they murdered him in broad daylight and then orchestrated a cover-up including the nation’s top officials and news media that continues to today. What office-holder wouldn’t be intimidated?

The bottom line is that these elites are typically motivated by economic policies that we deserve to examine as U.S. citizens. Ultimately, this is about money, including your income, savings, security and taxes. To take one example of the link between intelligence and Wall Street, it is easier to make investments in a global economy and leave others holding the bag if you can foresee the next revolution or other war zone.

For those reasons, you owe it to yourselves and your families to understand the news, not just watch it. The real story ultimately affects jobs, other economic opportunities and financial security – as well as the freedoms that we have so long taken for granted, especially in such a lovely and civic-minded part of America as here.  

More Thanks

Before providing more details on these findings and answering questions, I want to expand on my deep appreciation for your invitation to appear here and for the warm introduction by Andy.

My findings are relatively simple.  I am connecting the dots for the most part of previous research, as documented in more than 1,100 endnotes, nearly all on the record. Woodrow Wilson warned a century ago against the hidden power of Wall Street against Main Street. Ironically, that’s as far as he could go because he became a tool of Wall Street himself when it funded third party Bull Moose candidate Teddy Roosevelt to ensure the 1912 defeat of the isolationist incumbent Republican, President William Howard Taft.

So, this research threatens powerful interests, and all the more so after the CIA has consolidated power despite the fears of our first three Cold War presidents, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy. All were combat veterans who viewed with alarm the CIA’s evolution from an intelligence advisor to the president to an independent force creating revolutions, assassinations and propaganda in secret, with hidden funding and command over uniformed forces, and with scant oversight otherwise.

So I am especially grateful to you for inviting me here. Andy Thibault, an exceptional professional whom I’m so proud to see successful, set this in motion this invitation after his bold review of “Presidential Puppetry several months ago in the Torrington, New Haven and Middletown newspapers. The headline was “Road map to master manipulators.”
http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20131231/cool-justice-kreigs-presidential-puppetry-gives-road-map-to-master-manipulators

Both his review and his overall work recalled for me the wonderful traditions of Connecticut civil life. Like him, I experienced as a newspaper reporter starting out on small town stories. I worked at the Hartford Courant for 14 years beginning in 1970, and in 1987 published a bittersweet reflection entitled “Spiked” on changes I had seen in the newspaper industry.

But at its best, a reporter covering town school board meetings could see, as I did, the ebb and flow of community life at close hand. In communities ranging from the size of beautiful and historic Litchfield to the capitol of Hartford, everyone could be active in civic affairs. You might not prevail, and there might be scandals. But you could usually meet a relevant public officials, at least, or find out what they were really like and who influenced them. That helps keep matters control the way they seem from my perch in Washington, where I have returned to my roots as a reporter after more than two decades as a business advocate, non-profit leader and attorney.

 

 

 

The discussion at a private club near the state's capital 

for Dissident Voice, How Finance Controls the White House, Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, June 14, 2014. Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters by Andrew Kreig (Eagle View Books 2013) is a comprehensive expose of the wealthy corporate interests who are the real power behind the federal government. Kreig orients his book around Obama and Romney, the major presidential candidates in the 2012 elections. However in discussing Mitt Romney’s hidden ties to the financial oligarchy, he also explores the Bush family’s Wall Street connections, the history and structure of the Mormon Church (especially as it relates to corporate America) and Karl Rove’s role in orchestrating Republican dirty tricks and voting fraud. Presidential Puppetry is meticulously researched and sourced, with a 17 page bibliography and 110 pages of footnotes and references. Kreig, a lawyer and respected Washington DC journalist, takes the 2012 presidential debates as his point of departure, noting the deliberate secrecy of both candidates around their personal background. This deliberate secrecy should have been a campaign issue. Yet neither raised it in the debates – there seemed to be a gentleman’s agreement not to do so. Kreig is also scathingly critical of the mainstream media’s failure to challenge either the secrecy or corrupt corporate influences it concealed.

Oliver Wolcott (November 20, 1726 – December 1, 1797) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and also the Articles of Confederation as a representative of Connecticut and the nineteenth Governor of Connecticut.

Wolcott was born in Windsor, Connecticut, the youngest of fourteen children of the colonial governor Roger Wolcott. He attended Yale College, graduating in 1747. He was commissioned to raise a militia company to fight in the French and Indian War, and he served the King as Captain in this unit on the northern frontier. At the end of the war, Wolcott studied medicine with his brother, Alexander,[1] then was appointed sheriff of the newly created Litchfield County, Connecticut, serving from about 1751 to 1771. He married Lorraine (Laura) Collins of Guilford, Connecticut, on January 21, 1755.[2] They had five children, Oliver (who died young), Oliver Jr., Laura, Mariann, and Frederick.

Oliver Wolcott The descendants of Henry Wolcott have acted a conspicuous part in the field and in the legislative hall. Oliver Wolcott, was the youngest son of Roger Wolcott, who was appointed governor of Connecticut in 1751. Oliver was born the 26th of November, 1726, and graduated at Yale College at the age of 21. The same year he was commissioned to command a company which he raised and marched to the defense of the northern frontier, where he remained until the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. He then returned, applied himself to the study of medicine, until he was appointed the first sheriff of the county of Litchfield, formed in 1751. In 1755 he married Laura Collins, an amiable and discreet woman of great merit. In 1774 he was appointed counselor, which station he filled for twelve successive years. He was also chief judge of the common plea court, and, for a long time, a judge of the court of probate. As a military officer he rose from the grade of captain to that of major-general. In the summer of 1776, he commanded the fourteen regiments raised by Governor Trumbull to act with the army in New York. He headed his brigade at the memorable battle that resulted in the capture of Burgoyne and revived the drooping cause of the bleeding colonies. He was uniformly consulted on important military movements, and was listened to with great confidence and respect. From his common ways he was a big and ardent supporter of the revolution. In 1775 he was appointed by congress a commissioner of Indian affairs for the northern department, a trust of high importance at that time. During the same year his influence was happily shown in reconciling disputes between the neighboring colonies relative to their respective boundaries. Admirable and persuasive in his manners, aided by a sound hatred and a correct sense of justice, he was well calculated to be a mediator between contending parties. In 1776 he took his seat in congress, and remained until he affixed his signature to that Declaration which burst the chains of slavery, gave birth to a nation in a day, astonished gazing millions, made the British king tremble on his throne, and stamped the names of its signers with a fame that will endure, unimpaired, through the rolling ages of time. He then returned and took his station in the field, and on all occasions proved himself a brave, skillful, and prudent officer. When he deemed his services more useful in Congress, he occasionally took his seat in that body until 1783. In 1785 he was associated with Arthur Lee and Richard Butler to conclude a peace with the Six Nations. The year following he was elected lieutenant-governor, which station he filled for ten years, when he was chosen governor, the dignified duties of which station he performed until death closed his mortal career on the first of December, 1797, in the seventy-first year of his age, regretted by all, and most by those who knew him best. In addition to his numerous public services, always performed without pomp or noise, his private character shone with peculiar luster. He possessed all the sterling virtues, was a devout and consistent Christian, an honorable and honest man.

Oliver Wolcott Library Litchfield, CT, 'Presidential Puppetry'+ with Author Andrew Kreig, Staff Report, Event from 7 to 8 p.m. June 19, 2014. Presidential Puppetry is a book about the nation’s leading political families providing a “Rosetta Stone” to understanding current Washington political standoffs and strategies. Unfolding as a DC-based mystery story, it leads the reader step-by-step to a deeper understanding of 2014 political controversies on a range of issues, including austerity, budgets, national security, privacy, political candidates, and press freedom. In non-partisan fashion, author Andrew Kreig shows via a century of history h ow the nation’s behind-the-scenes power structure empowered the Bushs, Clintons, Romneys, and Obamas. To research Puppetry, Kreig drew on mainstream reporting augmented by a rare blend of right, left, academic, and global intelligence experts. Its explosive 350-page narrative is documented with more than 1,100 endnotes. Andrew Kreig is an investigative reporter, attorney, author, business strategist, and non-profit executive based in Washington, DC.  In 1970, he began a 14 year career as a reporter at the Hartford Courant. For the past six years he has co-hosted “MTL Washington Update,” a weekly public affairs radio show. He has lectured on government and business issues on five continents, including as co-keynoter at the annual Futures Summit of the National Association of Broadcasters. He holds law degrees from Yale Law School and the University of Chicago School of Law, and a history degree from Cornell University. His website is andrewkreig.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The author will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.

New York Times, Officials Cast Wide Net in Monitoring Occupy Protests, Colin Moynihan, May 22, 2014. New York Times, When the Occupy protests spread across the country three years ago, state and local law enforcement officials went on alert. The communications, distributed by people working with counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing offices known as fusion centers, were among about 4,000 pages of unclassified emails and reports obtained through freedom of information requests by lawyers who represented Occupy participants and provided the documents to the New York Times. They offer details of the scrutiny in 2011 and 2012 by law enforcement officers, federal officials, security contractors, military employees and even people at a retail trade association. The monitoring appears similar to that conducted by F.B.I. counterterrorism officials, which was previously reported.

Torrington Register Citizen, Author Andrew Kreig to talk government secrets in Litchfield, Shako Liu, June 11, 2014. Author and attorney Andrew Kreig is going to tell secrets of the federal government in his new book Presidential Puppetry. He will talk at the Rotary Club of Litchfield-Morris, and then the Oliver Wolcott Library on June 19. An average American commits three felonies a day, Kreig cited from the book Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate. The dysfunctional criminal justice system has exposed scores of people—doctors, lawyers, journalists, businesspeople—to sudden, arbitrary prosecution, according to the book. Kreig pointed out that the government surveillance program is a ticking time bomb, which will explode once a target is found. The Washington D.C. based author said the abuses put innocent people in jail, and set guilty people free. Cyril H. Wecht, a forensic medical expert, was charged for sending 43 personal faxes that cost his county an estimated grand total of $3.86 in 2006. Wecht spent $8.6 million legal fees to fight off the charges. Kreig said as he examined the case, the indictment didn’t even include the word “fax,” but only calling it a wire fraud. He said Wecht was fortunate not to go to prison, but others were not.

PBS, Former NSA director: Having surveillance tools revealed puts U.S. in greater harm, Judy Woodruff Interview with former NSA Director Keith Alexander,
May 13, 2014.  Now to a close look at the U.S. government’s surveillance programs. It’s the subject of tonight’s “Frontline” on PBS, the first of a two-part series titled “The United States of Secrets.” Their reporting focuses on inside accounts of the controversial spying operations put in place after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Here, you will see former National Security Agency employees affiliated with a program called ThinThread, a tool which could capture and sort massive amounts of phone and e-mail data, but had an encryption function to protect the privacy of individual Americans. They and others describe the moment they found out that the technology was being used without the privacy protection.

Washington Post, Dave Brat was mostly ignored by political reporters, Paul Farhi, June 11, 2014.There are hundreds of reporters covering politics in Washington. Before Tuesday night, only a few of them paid any attention to the year’s biggest political story. College professor Dave Brat’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in their Richmond-area district stunned more than Cantor and the GOP establishment. Most of the national news media slept through the campaign, waking up only when the votes started coming in Tuesday. The result: Perhaps not since the Chicago Daily Tribune’s infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline has the political press been so badly blindsided by an election result.

 

http://www.nationofchange.org/department-homeland-security-brands-thiscantbehappening-threat-1402323700 This Cant Be Happening! has just learned that our little news organization was listed, in an alert fired off to all 78 Fusion Centers by Kelly Wilson, Director of the Washington DC Fusion Center’s Regional Threat and Assessment Center, as a potential threat. The stated role of the Fusion Centers, which were created (and lavishly funded) in the wake of 9-11, was to link federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in order to better detect and combat terrorists inside the US. So what about this threat posed by ThisCantBeHappening!, though? Well, as Threat Assessment Director Wilson explains in her alert, the threat is that TCBH! published an article suggesting that the Fusion Centers played a central role in orchestrating the attacks on Occupy Movement actions in cities all across the US.

“The surveillance problem is very serious,” Kreig said. “Reform will not come from congress.” Kreig’s new book also examined the backgrounds of several recent presidents, and discovered their common close connection with the FBI and CIA prior to being elected. Kreig said these agencies helped the candidates advance in their political career. He said Reagan was an FBI secret informant for many years. He found out in a New York Times article in 1997 that President Obama worked for a CIA company after he graduated from Columbia University, and no one yet knows about it.

Washington's Blog via Global Research, NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Never Had Access to the “Juiciest” Intelligence Documents, June 9, 2014. NSA whistleblower Russel Tice was a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping. Tice told PBS and other media that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers, including Supreme Court Justices, highly-ranked generals, Colin Powell and other State Department personnel, and many other top officials. He says the NSA started spying on President Obama when he was a candidate for Senate. Many of Tice’s allegations have been confirmed by other government whistleblowers. And see this. Washington’s Blog called Tice to find out more about what he saw when he was at NSA. RUSSELL TICE: We now know that NSA was wiretapping [Senator] Frank Church and another Senator. And that got out by accident. All the information the NSA had back then – and probably many other senators and important people too, back in the 70s – they shredded and they destroyed all of that evidence. As much as they could find, they destroyed it all. By accident, something popped up 40 years later. And, in fact, they were asked 40 years ago whether NSA had bugged Congress. And, of course, they lied. They lied through their teeth.

WASHINGTON’S BLOG: Glenn Greenwald – supposedly, in the next couple of days or weeks – is going to disclose, based on NSA documents leaked by Snowden, that the NSA is spying on all sorts of normal Americans … and that the spying is really to crush dissent.  [Background here, here and here.] Does Snowden even have documents which contain the information which you’ve seen?

RUSSELL TICE:  The answer is no.

WASHINGTON’S BLOG: So you saw handwritten notes. And what Snowden was seeing were electronic files …?

RUSSELL TICE: Think of it this way.  Remember I told you about the NSA doing everything they could to make sure that the information from 40 years ago – from spying on Frank Church and Lord knows how many other Congressman that they were spying on – was hidden? Now do you think they’re going to put that information into Powerpoint slides that are easy to explain to everybody what they’re doing? They would not even put their own NSA designators on the reports [so that no one would know that] it came from the NSA.  They made the reports look like they were Humint (human intelligence) reports.  They did it to hide the fact that they were NSA and they were doing the collection. That’s 40 years ago.  [The NSA and other agencies are still doing "parallel construction," "laundering" information to hide the fact that the information is actually from mass NSA surveillance.]

Now, what NSA is doing right now is that they’re taking the information and they’re putting it in a much higher security level.  It’s called “ECI” - Exceptionally Controlled Information  – and it’s called the black program … which I was a specialist in, by the way.

I specialized in black world – DOD and IC (Intelligence Community) – programs, operations and missions … in “VRKs”, “ECIs”, and “SAPs”, “STOs”. SAP equals Special Access Program. It’s highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. STO equals Special Technical Operations  It’s highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these.

Now in that world – the ECI/VRK world – everything in that system is classified at a higher level and it has its own computer systems that house it.  It’s totally separate than the system which Mr. Snowden was privy to, which was called the “JWICS”: Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.  The JWICS system is what everybody at NSA has access to.  Mr Snowden had Sys Admin [systems administrator] authority for the JWICS.

And you still have to have TS/SCI clearance [i.e. Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmented Information - also known as “code word” - clearance] to get on the JWICS. But the ECI/VRK systems are much higher [levels of special compartmentalized clearance] than the JWICS. And you have to be in the black world to get that [clearance].

ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks.

These programs typically have, at the least, a requirement of 100 year or until death, ’till the person first being “read in” [i.e. sworn to secrecy as part of access to the higher classification program] can talk about them.  [As an interesting sidenote, the Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information.]

It’s very compartmentalized and – even with stuff that they had – you might have something at NSA, that there’s literally 40 people at NSA that know that it’s going on in the entire agency.

When the stuff came out in the New York Times [the first big spying story, which broke in 2005] – and I was a source of information for the New York Times –   that’s when President Bush made up that nonsense about the “terrorist surveillance program.” By the way, that never existed. That was made up.

There was no such thing beforehand. It was made up … to try to placate the American people.

The NSA IG (Inspector General) – who was not cleared for this – all of a sudden is told he has to do an investigation on this; something he has no information or knowledge of.

So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation.

Snowden’s Failure To Understand the Most Important Documents

RUSSELL TICE: Now, if Mr. Snowden were to find the crossover, it would be those documents that were downgraded to the NSA’s IG.

The stuff that I saw looked like a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook.  Unless you have an analyst to know what to look for – and believe me, I think that what Snowden’s done is great – he’s not an intelligence analyst.  So he would see something like that, and he wouldn’t know what he’s looking at.

But that would be “the jewels”. And the key is, you wouldn’t know it’s the jewels unless you were a diamond miner and you knew what to look for. Because otherwise, there’s a big lump of rock and you don’t know there’s a diamond in there.

I worked special programs. And the way I found out is that I was working on a special operation, and I needed information from NSA … from another unit. And when I went to that unit and I said “I need this information”, and I dealt with [satellite spy operations], and I did that in the black world. I was a special operations officer. I would literally go do special missions that were in the black world where I would travel overseas and do spooky stuff.

Cheney Was Running the Show

WASHINGTON’S BLOG: You said in one of your interviews that Dick Cheney ordered the intercepts that you found in the burn bags [the bags of documents which were slated to be destroyed because they were so sensitive].

Is that right … and if so, how do you know that?

RUSSELL TICE: I did not know one way or the other until I talked to a very senior person at NSA who – much later – wanted to have a meeting with me. And we had a covert, clandestine style meeting. And that’s when this individual told me that the whole thing was being directed and was coming from the vice president’s office … Cheney, through his lawyer David Addington.

WASHINGTON’S BLOG:  It sounds like it wasn’t going through normal routes?  It’s not like Cheney or Addington made formal requests to the NSA … through normal means?

RUSSELL TICE: No, not normal at all. All on the sly … all “sneaky pete” under the table, in the evening when most NSA employees are gone for the day. This is all being done in the evenings … between like 7 [at night] and midnight.

Postscript: When Tice started blowing the whistle on NSA mass surveillance in the early 2000s, the NSA all of a sudden decided that Tice was “crazy”. As Tice told us:

    For many years, I was the only NSA whistleblower in public.

    And what they did is call me in – 9 months after my routine psychological evaluation – which I passed with flying colors, like every other one I’ve had in my entire career, passed with flying colors.

    They called me in for an “emergency” psychological evaluation, and they declared me nuts.

I am a fairly good judge of character, and I found Tice to be humorous, self-deprecating in a healthy and light-hearted way, and consistent on the facts. Tice talked about how he was a pretty darn good football player in junior college, but no star athlete. He talked about how one reporter tried to make him out to be James Bond with leading man looks, and he thought that was ridiculous. We shared some normal “guy talk” about women. Tice has a little anger at the way the NSA tried to whitewash the mass surveillance that he uncovered (wouldn’t you be?), but he wasn’t enraged or over-the-top. Tice is also a patriotic American, not a subversive. Specifically, we spent a long time talking about the importance of the Constitution and the rule of law. In other words, Tice seems “oriented to reality”, completely sane, normal, ethical and bright to me.

And the following facts are more important than my personal impression:

    Many of Tice’s allegations have been confirmed by Snowden and other government whistleblowers. And see this

    Soviet leaders were famous for throwing dissidents into psychiatric wards. Unfortunately, the same thing sometimes happens in modern America

Given the way that the NSA has been repeatedly caught in lies about its surveillance programs – and the way that it has attacked whisteblowers – I believe Tice over the NSA.
www.globalresearch.ca/nsa-whistleblower-snowden-never-had-access-to-the-juiciest-intelligence-documents/5386231" data-title="NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Never Had Access to the “Juiciest” Intelligence Documents">


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PBS, Former NSA director: Having surveillance tools revealed puts U.S. in greater harm, Judy Woodruff Interview with former NSA Director Keith Alexander,
May 13, 2014.  Now to a close look at the U.S. government’s surveillance programs. It’s the subject of tonight’s “Frontline” on PBS, the first of a two-part series titled “The United States of Secrets.” Their reporting focuses on inside accounts of the controversial spying operations put in place after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Here, you will see former National Security Agency employees affiliated with a program called ThinThread, a tool which could capture and sort massive amounts of phone and e-mail data, but had an encryption function to protect the privacy of individual Americans. They and others describe the moment they found out that the technology was being used without the privacy protection.

Washington Post, Dave Brat was mostly ignored by political reporters, Paul Farhi, June 11, 2014.There are hundreds of reporters covering politics in Washington. Before Tuesday night, only a few of them paid any attention to the year’s biggest political story. College professor Dave Brat’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in their Richmond-area district stunned more than Cantor and the GOP establishment. Most of the national news media slept through the campaign, waking up only when the votes started coming in Tuesday. The result: Perhaps not since the Chicago Daily Tribune’s infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline has the political press been so badly blindsided by an election result.

NARRATOR: It didn’t take long for clues to emerge that something much bigger was going on.

WILLIAM BINNEY, Former National Security Agency Technical Director: They started seeing stacks of servers piled in corners and so forth.

So we had to walk way around all this hardware that was piling up out there. And so we knew, you know, something was happening.

JAMES BAMFORD, Author, “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America”: All of a sudden, people who normally would communicate with each other were keeping secret this new operation of some sort.

NARRATOR: Dozens of NSA employees were sworn to secrecy, but before long, details were leaked to Drake.

THOMAS DRAKE, Former National Security Agency Senior Executive: I had people coming to me with grave concerns of, what are we doing, Tom? I thought we’re supposed to have a warrant. I’m being directed to deploy what’s normally foreign intelligence, outward-facing equipment, I’m being now directed to place it on internal networks.

NARRATOR: At the same time, Bill Binney and the ThinThread team heard that the program was using ThinThread, but stripping out the privacy protections.

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'Presidential Puppetry' Author Speaks on NSA in Litchfield, CTOliver WolcottOliver Wolcott Library Litchfield, CT, 'Presidential Puppetry'+ with Author Andrew Kreig, Staff Report, Event from 7 to 8 p.m. June 19, 2014. Presidential Puppetry is a book about the nation’s leading political families providing a “Rosetta Stone” to understanding current Washington political standoffs and strategies. Unfolding as a DC-based mystery story, it leads the reader step-by-step to a deeper understanding of 2014 political controversies on a range of issues, including austerity, budgets, national security, privacy, political candidates, and press freedom. In non-partisan fashion, author Andrew Kreig shows via a century of history h ow the nation’s behind-the-scenes power structure empowered the Bushs, Clintons, Romneys, and Obamas. To research Puppetry, Kreig drew on mainstream reporting augmented by a rare blend of right, left, academic, and global intelligence experts. Its explosive 350-page narrative is documented with more than 1,100 endnotes. Andrew Kreig is an investigative reporter, attorney, author, business strategist, and non-profit executive based in Washington, DC.  In 1970, he began a 14 year career as a reporter at the Hartford Courant. For the past six years he has co-hosted “MTL Washington Update,” a weekly public affairs radio show. He has lectured on government and business issues on five continents, including as co-keynoter at the annual Futures Summit of the National Association of Broadcasters. He holds law degrees from Yale Law School and the University of Chicago School of Law, and a history degree from Cornell University. His website is andrewkreig.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The author will provide books for sale & signing. Registration is free but required.

Torrington Register Citizen, Author Andrew Kreig to talk government secrets in Litchfield, Shako Liu, June 11, 2014. Author and attorney Andrew Kreig is going to tell secrets of the federal government in his new book Presidential Puppetry. He will talk at the Rotary Club of Litchfield-Morris, and then the Oliver Wolcott Library on June 19. An average American commits three felonies a day, Kreig cited from the book Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate. The dysfunctional criminal justice system has exposed scores of people—doctors, lawyers, journalists, businesspeople—to sudden, arbitrary prosecution, according to the book. Kreig pointed out that the government surveillance program is a ticking time bomb, which will explode once a target is found. The Washington D.C. based author said the abuses put innocent people in jail, and set guilty people free. Cyril H. Wecht, a forensic medical expert, was charged for sending 43 personal faxes that cost his county an estimated grand total of $3.86 in 2006. Wecht spent $8.6 million legal fees to fight off the charges. Kreig said as he examined the case, the indictment didn’t even include the word “fax,” but only calling it a wire fraud. He said Wecht was fortunate not to go to prison, but others were not.

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Andy ThibaultConnecticut Mirror, Defense slowdown hurts all of Connecticut, Ana Radelat, June 12, 2014. There’s not one corner of Connecticut that doesn’t benefit from Pentagon spending, but the go-go years for the state’s defense contractors may be over. That’s bad news for what was one of the state’s hottest, growing industries, especially for Connecticut’s smaller defense contractors. An analysis by the Connecticut Mirror shows the end of the war in Iraq and the wind down of the war in Afghanistan, as well as other budget constraints, began to be felt last year, when more than 3,000 defense contractors in the state won Department of Defense contracts worth nearly $10.2 billion. That’s a lot of money, but less than the $12.9 billion in DoD contracts signed in 2012 and $12.5 billion in contracts signed in both 2011 and 2010. Before last year’s drop, defense spending in Connecticut was growing at a fast clip every year. It was $6.2 billion in 2002 and more than double that 10 years later, says GovernmentContractswon.com. Mike Lewis, an investment analyst specializing in defense with the Silverline Group, said the defense budget will not grow in the foreseeable future, meaning Connecticut’s defense industry may have fallen on lean times.

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Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

Washington Post, Dave Brat was mostly ignored by political reporters, Paul Farhi, June 11, 2014.There are hundreds of reporters covering politics in Washington. Before Tuesday night, only a few of them paid any attention to the year’s biggest political story. College professor Dave Brat’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in their Richmond-area district stunned more than Cantor and the GOP establishment. Most of the national news media slept through the campaign, waking up only when the votes started coming in Tuesday. The result: Perhaps not since the Chicago Daily Tribune’s infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline has the political press been so badly blindsided by an election result.

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WhoWhatWhy, Where Congress Won’t Tread in Benghazi Hearings, Larry Hancock, June 11, 2014. Secretary of State John Kerry is almost certain to be a witness in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, after being released from a subpoena to testify before the House Oversight Committee on June 12. Never mind that he wasn’t the Secretary of State when more than 100 gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed four people, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens, on Sept 11, 2012. The Secretary of State on that day was potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The noisy fight between both parties over the necessity for Kerry’s testimony, exemplifies the one thing we know about Benghazi today: We’re no closer to the truth than we were 21 months ago.

  1. The first issue likely to be avoided is the Benghazi-based CIA covert-action project, compromised by both the death of the American ambassador to Libya, Stephens, and the immediate political response of Congress following the attacks on the State Department complex – which we now know to have been a State Department cover for a covert CIA weapons interdiction operation run out of the “embassy annex.” There is every indication that a pro-active covert action was in play, involving not only CIA personnel but the ambassador himself. Stephens acted as a conduit to Libyans who had come to trust him when the U.S. and NA TO worked with them during the insurgency against Muammar Qaddafi. A pre-emptive covert operation to interdict heavy weapons from distribution to radical jihadi insurgencies across North Africa is not something the critics of the Obama administration will want to tout. Moreover, it’s something the administration and any agencies involved are legally prohibited from discussing, other than with the limited number of legislators sitting on specific intelligence oversight committees.
  2. The second issue to be avoided is the lack of institutional memory in Congress and the degree to which privatization has been allowed to overtake what were formerly the military’s responsibilities for the security of American embassies and facilities overseas.